Michigan Journalist Remembers Slain Charlie Hebdo Cartoonist ‘Cabu’

Memories of an altogether unexpected 1998 visit

HuronDailyTribuneArticleThanks to Chris Aldridge, a reporter with Michigan’s Huron Daily Tribune, there is this moving and, as it just so happens, closer-to-home tribute to one of the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks.

Aldridge caught up with Sandy Sutton. During her days with the Tribune and Midland Daily News, she got to meet and report on a visit to Bad Axe by Jean Cabut, (a.k.a. “Cabu”), among those killed in the attack on Charlie Hebdo Wednesday. He was traveling at the time with fellow French journalist Laurent Joffrin. From the piece:

Sutton, now 50 and employed as a copy editor at the Grand Rapids Press, wrote in her September 1988 Tribune article that Joffrin was on assignment for Libération, a French national newspaper, and Cabut for Le Canard Enchaîné, a satirical newspaper. They planned visits to New York City, Washington, D.C., Dallas and — Bad Axe?

“Who the heck knows? It might have just been because it had such a goofy name, I don’t remember,” Sutton said as to why the two men stopped in Bad Axe. Regardless, she was excited as a reporter to cover their visit.

Joffrin, currently the editor of Libération, on Friday threw open the doors of his publication to help with the production of the next Charlie Hebdo issue.

There is all kinds of great anecdotal detail in the revisit of this visit, including memories from Sutton of how Cabut communicated during a restaurant meal by way of cartoons. Read Aldridge’s piece here. Included is the priceless Cabut cartoon of Sutton trying to explain the Michigan geographical meaning of Thumb. RIP.

[Logo via: michigansthumb.com]